Saturday, October 15, 2005

Finally turned my attention to the damaged panniers (luggage).

Took them over to BMW to see if Luis could do anything with them. (Why didn't I think of this earlier?) I had tried to straighten them out and un-stick the telescoping mechanisms, without any luck.

Luis greeted me as I pulled up and took the bags inside to consult some friends and fellow riders in the coffee shop. They apparently had some expertise in adhesives, and had recommendations on how to repair the shattered plastic. Luis said it will be Monday before he can have them ready.

Luis has another new blue GS in his shop. The driver went off a road in Northwestern Panama, when an oncoming car entered his lane. The front rim and wheel destroyed, right cylinder head decapitated and cylinder head bolts sheared off, tank damaged, headlight smashed. Lots of other stuff. The rider only got a couple scratches.

Met Axel, a UBS Director and fellow rider whom I had spoken with yesterday. He keeps an extra set Michelin Anakee tires in his garage and offered to sell them to me. He claims they are the best tire for the GS.

The daily afternoon rain puts a damper on any sightseeing or other outdoor activities. So, I went back to the mall to take another look at synthetic clothing at the "Timberland" and "Columbia" stores. Still, I couldn't bring myself to spend any more money on clothing.

But I could spend money at "Crepes y Waffles". Made a note to send Jessica a link to their website. We need to start a franchise!

Back at the hotel, a message from "Peter", the Australian skipper of the 65-foot sailboat "Golden Eagle". He's making a run down to Colombia, but not until November 1st or 2nd. Too far off for me, but I told him to hold a place nonetheless.

Much of the day spent "journaling" in the hotel, catching up on the blog.

With their Spanish roots, the hotel owners bring in "Jamon de Serrano" for their restaurant. Tonight, I ordered some with "melón" (cantaloupe), a common pairing in Italy. The gentlemen next to me turned and asked if I were Venezuelan. That's the only place he had every seen that combination. He was quite surprised that it was not unique to that country.

So I met Arturo Calvo and his family. He's a plastic surgeon here in Panama, but he spent many years in the U.S., studying at Northwestern, then practicing in Florida. We talked about the real estate boom in Panama, and he said that currently the government is offering incentives to foreign investors, especially Americans. It's a good time to invest, he said, "but don't wait too long."

He planted the seed for my visiting his favorite places when I return: Volcan, Cerro Punta and Boquete.

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